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Edo deputy gov, Shaibu, withdraws suit against Obaseki



The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu, has withdrawn the suit he instituted at the Federal High Court, Abuja, to stop alleged plots by the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to impeach him.

The withdrawal was contained in a circular Shaibu issued dated September 5, 2023.

Citing the case with Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1027/2023, which named the Inspector General of Police, State Security Service, the Governor of Edo State, and the Chief Judge of Edo State as defendants, said he took the decision following interventions by prominent people.

The deputy governor said, “With due respect to these eminent personalities and leaders whose persuasions and persons I cannot ignore, I, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, have authorised and instructed my Solicitors to withdraw the Suit forthwith,” Shaibu wrote.

“I wish to sincerely thank and appreciate these well-meaning Nigerians, Party Leaders, Traditional Rulers, and my Archbishop, His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Augustine Akubeze for their kind words, advice and encouragement thus far in ensuring peace and unity in our dear State, Edo.

“I also wish to place on record my special thanks to Mr Governor, my boss and senior brother for this path of peace.”

Below Is the Circular:

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The Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Iyobosa, has explained to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja why an impeachment exercise undertaken by the Edo state House of Assembly cannot be questioned by any court in Nigeria

The CJ stated this in his counter affidavit challenging the motion as well as main suit filed by the deputy governor of Edo state, Comrade Philip Shaibu, against the Inspector General of Police, State Security Service, Governor Godwin Obaseki, Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly and the State Chief Judge.

In his main suit, Shuaibu had accused his principal of allegedly conniving with the state house of assembly and perfecting plans to impeach him ahead of the 2024 governorship poll in the state.

He accused Governor Obaseki of using state apparatus to intimidate and embarrass him while stopping him “from carrying out the functions of his office as deputy governor of Edo State, including attending the state executive council meeting.”

Shuaibu’s lawyer, Ogwu Onoja had urged the court by an exparte motion to restrain the defendants from frustrating his efforts as deputy governor of the state or removing him pending the determination of his case.

But Justice Mohammed directed the governor and other respondents to appear before him and show cause why the motion exparte should not be granted.

He also directed parties to maintain status quo.

But in the Edo state CJ’s counter affidavit, Christian Imasune deposed to the court that contrary to the assertions of the deputy governor, no one has brought any issue to remove him from office till date, whether at the State High Court or the Edo State Ministry of Justice.

He stated that the application against the Respondents is speculative and imagined by the deputy governor.

“The Plaintiff/Applicant’s substantial grouse in the substantive suit of this application is his apprehension that he might be removed from hls office of the Deputy Governor,” the CJ stated in his affidavit.

He added that though he and the state assembly deny proposing impeachment exercise against Shuaibu, the exercise remains constitutional.

“The exercise of removal of an Individual from office of the Deputy-
governor is a constitutional exercise.

“This exercise is an Inviolate right of the 4th Defendant(Speaker, Edo state House of Assembly).

“Even if this exercise is being undertaken by the 4th Defendant/Respondent (which is not admitted), the said undertaking cannot be questioned by any court in this country, ” he stated.

He further contended that even if any court will have to intervene or interfere, such judicial act will only be done at the conclusion of the impeachment exercise and not when same is imminent or is yet to commence.

He further argued that even if any court will have to intervene at the due time, the Edo State High Court is the most competent sitting to undertake such Intervention.

He thereby urged the court to declare that the deputy governor’s application is not competently instituted as well as dismiss it for being an abuse of court process.

In the counter affidavit of the governor, he denied harbouring any displeasure at the political aspirations or harassing him.

At the scheduled hearing on Thursday, Shuaibu’s lawyer, George Ibrahim told the court that the State Security Service was yet to file a response to his motion.

The DSS counsel, I. Awo, admitted he was yet to file his counter affidavit to the motion exparte, adding he only has his processes challenging the main suit.

He then asked the court for a short adjournment so as to file it before close of work today.

Subsequently, Justice Mohammed adjourned to August 22 for parties to show cause against the motion.

He also ordered that parties should continue to maintain status quo on any plans they have relating to the issues raised before him.